COMMON DEFICIENCIES

Along with the macronutrients the body requires an adequate amount of micronutrients to
maintain optimum health. Hence consuming a balanced diet is important. Along with the diet
and lifestyle the cultures, traditions, climate, food availability, geographic region play a major
role in the diet of the people. As per recent surveys conducted in India, an unexpected
number of people were found facing certain micronutrient deficiencies, the most prevalent
ones are mentioned below.

Iron
The deficiency of iron is seen globally. The WHO has stated that more than 30 percent of the
global population is anemic. Research shows that iron deficiency is mainly seen in adolescent
girls in India. A large population of Indians consumes vegetarian diets that do not contain an
adequate amount of iron levels for various religious, economic, and cultural reasons. Certain
foods can boost iron levels in the body and they are as follows. Sources of iron include non-
vegetarian foods, whole grains, legumes, dried fruits, raisins, dark green leafy vegetables.
Add Vitamin C as it enhances the absorption of iron in the body.

Vitamin D
It is the most common nutrient deficiency among the Indian population even after India
being a tropical country we are not exposed to sunlight as much to avoid getting a tan.
However, sunlight is the most crucial medium to activate Vitamin D levels in the body. The
The prevalence of this deficiency is about 50 to 90 percent of the global population.
Mentioned below are Calcium-rich food items to include in the diet along with exposing
oneself to sunlight. (Approx. 20 to 30 mins early morning)
Dairy products such as milk, curd, paneer, yogurt, cheese, and dark green leafy vegetables.

Iodine
Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid. It is responsible for controlling
the weight of the body as well as the secretion of growth hormone. Iodine is essential to
consume through the food as the body does not produce it. In a study, where 325 Indian
districts were surveyed, 263 districts reported a severe iodine deficiency. Consuming iodized
salt is the best and most convenient source of iodine in our daily diet.

B12
Many of the Indians follow a vegetarian diet and also people who consume nonvegetarian
foods consume them once or twice a week. B12 is mainly found in animal sources that
include dairy products, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. Consumption of animal sources is not much in India. Folate or vitamin B12 deficiency anemia accounts for more than one-third of
anemia prevalence. Make sure vegetarians include dairy products like curd, milk, paneer.

Vitamin A
Lack of this vitamin can cause weak eyes and even lead to blindness. Breastfeeding the baby
until 6 months can eradicate vitamin A deficiency in the baby. Sources of vitamin A are
yellow, orange fruits and vegetables such as carrot, sweet potato, and eggs. This vitamin is
also known to play an important role in bone health. It is beneficial for fighting depression.

Vitamin C
This nutrient is important for a strong immune system and healthy skin. It was observed in a
a study that 73 percent of people over 60 years of age in India were deficient in this vitamin.
Vitamin C is also required for the absorption of nutrients in the body. Generous consumption
of various fresh fruits, especially the citrus fruits and vegetables like bell peppers ensure
adequate intake of Vitamin C.As Vitamin C is water-soluble and not stored in the body hence
it is essential to include vitamin C rich foods in our daily diet along with Vitamin C
supplements after consulting the physician.